Aug 26, 2009

About a month ago Ben was driving into our subdivision that has a long straight away before you really get into the residential area. He got pulled over there going 10 mph over the speed limit. I was annoyed but have gotten used to trying my best to ignore these incidences. I quit holding it over his head once I found out that apparently a lot of the neighbors had gotten tickets that week. The cops must have been trying to teach a lesson to the locals or make their quotas and knew they had an easy target there.

We just got a quote on car insurance from a friend and he informed Ben that he and I had the same number of points against our license. Mine is a ticket from about two and half years ago and Ben’s being from about four weeks ago. Ben was pretty smug and rubbed it in that my driving record was as harmful to us getting insurance as his was.

Well last Thursday Ben got pulled over and he told me about it over the phone. (I’m sure he figured it would be safer if he wasn’t within strangling distance.) He got pulled over on Eagle Road just outside our subdivision for rolling a stop sign. Apparently that cop has never tried to get onto Eagle Road during morning rush hour. So he pulled Ben over and of course Ben doesn’t have his insurance card on him (I know because it has been waiting patiently next to our garage door for him to put in the glove box for about two months). Not to mention our new registration and stickers were sitting on the counter despite me annoyingly nagging Ben to put them on his car.

So the cop is on a motorcycle and has to call in to get information. He writes Ben a ticket for not having proof of insurance and another for failure to come to a complete stop at a stop sign AND another one for driving on a suspended license. It seems Ben forgot to pay for his last ticket and so his license was suspended on Monday of that week. They do send out a notice but it went to our last address (a PO Box in Hailey that we haven’t had for about four years). It seems that they updated our physical address but not our billing address when we moved.

“The cop was being nice about it but there wasn’t anything he could do,” Ben said.

I explained to Ben that NO the cop was not being nice and YES there was something he could have done. For a start he could have let Ben off with a warning about rolling the stop sign.

“Were you nice to him again?” I asked Ben.



“Because he was being a nice guy and it wouldn’t make me feel any better to yell at him. That never solves anything,” Ben reasoned.

“It would make me feel a lot better!” I informed Ben.
I’ve always been accused of having a lead foot but compared to my dear husband Ben’s foot, mine is more like aluminum titanium alloy. Not to mention that Ben is always, without fail, NICE to the cops who pull him over. I encourage him to be mean, rude, something other than roll-over-and-play-dead nice. At least then, the ticket would seem somewhat justifiable.

Since we’ve been married he has gotten about twice as many tickets as I have. Our insurance dropped us at one point because he was considered too much of a risk. To show them, I totaled his car a week later trying to avoid a deer. The ironic part of it all was the only reason he was not driving the car that day is I’d had a vivid dream the night before that he had gotten his license suspended for getting another ticket and I just knew he was going to get pulled over. I didn’t want to have to chauffeur him around until he got his license reinstated so I insisted that I drive us to Hailey despite the feelings I got multiple times that I should pull over and let him drive. (Some visionary I am!).

One Christmas Ben and I knew finances were a little tight. We had just bought a house that year and two large, hungry, hole-digging, dogs, and a new car. We decided that we wouldn’t get each other gifts for Christmas. Well Christmas morning there were gifts for me from Ben under the tree. I felt bad that I hadn’t gotten him anything and was a little shocked since we weren’t supposed to have done that. I was also surprised that he had picked out clothes that I liked and looked good on me. While family was in town we went to the store with his brother. I made a comment about how nice it was for Ben to get me a Christmas gift.

“It’s probably to make up for the speeding ticket he got,” I commented.

“I thought she didn’t know about that?” Enoch said turning to Ben.
“Ummm,” Ben replied.

It came out that Ben had gotten TWO tickets in TWO days in that SAME spot. He owed me more than a Christmas gift after I found out about that one.

Aug 23, 2009

Keep on Dreamin'

My grandma sent me a newspaper article last week that was very fascinating. (Thank you Grandma!) It is about a lady that has been interested in writing stories but due to a difficult time in her life where she was solely responsible for raising her family she was unable for many years to follow her dreams. Over the last couple a years though she has been able to pursue her desire to write and has three books out. The books are called JoJo Books and they are books with a moral. The most fascinating part is not that she has been able to overcome a tough circumstance to be able to write it is that she is now 82 years old!

It is so hard to be patient with life sometimes. I think this woman, Joyce Soderberg, is incredible for not only having the patience but the persistence to continue pursuing dreams even at her age. She looks like an incredible lady with a lot of spunk. What a great example of making every moment count. Sometimes it can be so easy to get stuck in a comfort zone.

According to the article she is a great story teller and has perfected the stories over years of telling and retelling them to her children, grandchildren and so on. I think hers is an inspiring story for everyone not only to encourage people not to give up but to continue to share your talents! It is a quick read and very inspiring.

Here are the books she has published so far:

How Many? Count ‘Em
Willie Polliwog
Barnyard Reel

Aug 20, 2009

Downside to an Adorable Daughter

I’m going to quickly quote one of my favorite relatives, Troy Felt, who told us that when his daughter became a teenager he planned on sabotaging her.
“I’m going to put oil in her face wash and Nair in her shampoo.”
His daughter was four at the time, oddly enough the same age my daughter is now. I thought his daughter was adorable but wondered why he would already be worrying about his daughter dating at such an early age. NOW I KNOW!
I was headed into Gold’s Gym the other day with three small children in tow. It’s never the most graceful process and usually draws attention regardless. This day however, we were all fairly well behaved. Ryan, my three year old, loves to open and hold the door. Sydney, my daughter who is absolutely adorable (says her mother), was running after Ryan.
About the same time we were getting to the front doors two large, muscular guys were heading out. They were both pretty good looking and one had the tough guy look with tattoos running up one arm. Not the type to stop and comment on how cute your kids are if you know what I’m saying.
Ryan opened the door for them and Sydney wasn’t looking and almost ran into them. They both jumped out of the way and immediately started commenting on how cute she was. One of these guys still was looking over his shoulder at Sydney and NAILED a stationary light post that was sticking up from the walk way.
These light posts are about three feet high and are all heavy duty metal material. This poor guy hit it at crotch level walking at a swift speed. Not only did it knock the wind out of him but it knocked the top off the light. It went flying and hit the cement with a loud CLANK-CLANK-CLANK. This of course got the attention of everyone else outside of the gym. I wish I could have helped him. After all he did seem nice but I had to slip into the gym so I could let out the laughter that I could no longer contain.
I am very worried since then though. My daughter is four and already has the power to turn strange men’s heads? What happens when she turns into a teenager? CRAP!
Troy can I borrow some of that oil?

Aug 16, 2009

To Fly Or Not To Fly (Part 2)

Dad made it half way through the door of the plane finally and shoved a little stick towards the dash. He yelled "Throttle" which meant nothing to me but Mom instantly got a guilty look on her face. Apparently she had been talking to me and not paying attention to the fact that she was basically letting more and more fuel into the engine as we sat there and talked. It would be the equivalent of accelerating your car to make it onto the freeway from your exit.

Dad hopped in the plane looking annoyed and Mom and I were laughing hysterically when we realized what had taken place. Little did I know until later, Dad was more embarrassed than anything. Everyone up in the tower was watching as his plane and passengers almost took off without him.

The gauge was still not responding correctly and Dad was having second thoughts. So we took the plane back to the terminal and parked it. Then we debated all our options. While we deliberated we tied the plane down. Dad called the weather service at one of the airports that was on our way. They said that the Cascades were completely socked in and we wouldn't be able to pass. So Dad relayed the information to us.

We decided to say a pray before we made a decision. So here we three sat by the plane which had been tied down for the second time in one morning in the exact same place. Arms casually folded so we didn't look too conspicuous and eyes closed under the wing saying a prayer. Dad finished the prayer and Mom and I both said at the same time, "Let's go."

"I think it is going to be fine," I said.

"It will be," Mom said.

"Worst case scenario we leave the plane at an airport half way and take a rental car the rest of the way." I commented.

"Alright," Dad said.

"I guess now is not a good time to mention that I've been feeling like I might die in a plane crash all week," I said, "but don't worry I feel good about it now."

We untied the plane again and dad propped the plane and received clearance again to take off. We barreled down the runway. I watched out my side window at the rest of the airport going past. We had barely taken off and I noticed about twenty military jets lined up perfectly. Then coming out of a hanger all dressed in uniform were formations of people headed out to the jets. Their uniforms were dark enough that they did resemble squares of little ants marching to work. I am kinda greedy and I thought to myself that I should feel lucky to be able to fly in anything but underneath it all I was making a pact with myself that before I die I wanted to fly in one of those jets. I wanted to go so fast that my organs would be imprinted with my spine and my shoulders would never hunch forward again. I wanted to spin so many times that I didn't know whether I was up or down or sideways. I just wanted to be the passenger though! I didn't ever want the responsibility of equipment like that to be in my hands! Let's face it, I have a hard enough time being a good driver.

I watched the city buildings I know pass underneath. Everything taking on the look of a scale model of the real thing. I tried to identify streets by landmarks that I could barely make out from the air. I tried to spot my house but got confused about which direction I was really heading anymore. I started to watch for backyard pools. I observed that it seemed like there was an unusually high number of pools for such a cool climate. We get maybe 3 months of good swimming weather every year. I was watching what I figured was the freeway below. It was very calm but it was early Sunday morning. Patchwork fields took over where the buildings had been and my neck was feeling sore from craning it to see out the window. I was debating whether I should get out my ipod and Sudoku when I felt the plane make a sharp u-turn.

Mom turned around in her seat and said we had to go back.

"What's going on?" I asked.

"I'll explain when we get back," my Mom replied.

"Is it the oil pressure and engine again?"


I resigned to leaving my things packed since we would be back momentarily.

We landed and after about twenty minutes of flight. Parked the plane. Tied it down...AGAIN. Here we faced yet another dilemma. Mom and Dad had a car at the airport but the problem was they had left the keys in Hailey. I had a car but I knew Ben would need it because it had all the car seats in it. His mom might need it to run errands with the kids during the day while she was up helping take care of them. Ben would probably need his car to get to work since we live a whole three minutes from his job.

Mom and Dad debated driving Ben's car to Hailey to get the keys. (A short two hour drive.) Then turning around and coming back to Boise to pick me up and drop off the car before heading up to Oregon. Not only would this add another four hours to our already long day but it was completely unnecessary. I think they just felt bad putting the miles and wear on our car. I finally was able to assure them that it was ridiculous to drive all the way to Hailey to pick up a pair of keys. We headed to my house and grabbed Ben's Civic.

We emptied out a years worth of junk from the trunk and cleared his work files out of the back seat. We said good bye to the kids who were up by now and thanked Ben again for allowing me the chance to leave for a week.

We got on the road and drove hour after hour through beautiful clear weather. Dad was in the backseat of the car pouting. Mom asked what was wrong and he said he was upset that of all times he would have difficulties with the plane it ended up happening right before we were headed on a trip with it. Not to mention the weather was just fine and he didn't see any clouds. We got closer to the Cascades and there were clouds but Mom and Dad both agreed that they could have gotten around those easily.

We stopped for lunch and the weather was perfect. I think this only made Dad's mood more sour. Luckily lunch was some of the best Mexican food I'd had in awhile and this improved everyone's mood.

We got back on the road and we saw that the clouds were getting thicker and pretty soon it was pouring rain on and off. There was a low fog that made some things hard to see. At least I wasn't disappointed driving through Portland. It was like I have always seen it, socked in and raining. Dad finally felt less picked on since the weather was clearly not suitable for flying his little plane through and it seemed that a higher power had truly been watching out for our best interests.

I joked with my parents that had we died in a plane crash it wouldn't be for a lack of signs or trying on God's part. He'd done just about all he could to get us not to fly in the first place. Plane malfunctioning and unideal weather conditions.
It is comical looking back on it but just proves how stubborn and pig-headed we can be sometimes. The starter goes out but that doesn't keep us down. SO engine problems start up. Would we let that stop us? NO! We add an additive to the oil and try to take off anyways. The gauge quits working and then Mom and I try to fly the plane ourselves and leave Dad chasing behind on the runway. That doesn't stop us no-oh! We hear there will be no way to make it over the Cascade Mountain range but wave that off like an annoying fly. We still try to make the flight and then the plane acts up again. Finally after all of that we decide...hmmm....maybe we need to change our course of action.

I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that puts up with my stupidity no matter how legendary it is.